How Much Does Business Cloud Services Cost?
With over 55% of employees saying they want to be remote at least three days a week in a recent PwC survey, we’re looking at a future where hybrid or fully remote work is the norm—even in the financial and healthcare industries. More companies working from home means that data protection and a streamlined operational infrastructure are more important than before.
Is your business prepared to technologically handle the migration?
Hiring an IT provider for business cloud services can ensure that your team has the support they need to complete their jobs and meet customer expectations. If you’re wondering what the rate looks like for business cloud services, most providers charge a fixed monthly rate for business cloud services.
The exact cost depends on your unique business and cloud service needs. However, you can approximate where your rate will fall depending on the following four cost factors:
- Type of cloud services needed
- Public vs. private vs. hybrid cloud
- Amount of storage required
- Implementation, monitoring, and maintenance costs
In this article, we’ll break down the benefits of business cloud services and the cost factors so you can better understand what side of the cost spectrum your proposal could be on.
46Solutions has over 300 years of combined IT experience. We’ve implemented, monitored, and maintained cloud services for Kentucky businesses in various industries. Call us at (859) 788-4600, email us at info@46Solutions.com, or fill out our easy online form below for a free consultation.Book free consultation!
Benefits of Business Cloud Services
An IT provider can help your team improve core operations and meet customer expectations without paying for physical infrastructure with business cloud services.
The top benefits of business cloud services are reducing downtime, costly damages, and reputational hits. For example, 62% of severe outages cost companies anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million.
Business cloud services can also help:
- Maintain business continuity
- Meet customer demands for a smooth, personalized user experience and increased data protection
- Streamline team collaboration and shared file storage amongst your team members, vendors, and clients
- Provide location flexibility
- Protect your data against fire, flood, inclement weather, theft, or losing a computer, hard drive, or mobile device
- Reduce infrastructure, storage, and office costs
- Make business operations more automated, agile, and capable of handling a large volume of business data and internet usage
These are all excellent reasons why the industry experts expect the global cloud computing market to grow from a $445.3B to a $947.3B industry in just five years.
Along with all of those critical benefits for a remote or hybrid business, an IT provider can help select the best cloud system for your business, install it, and monitor it for you. The provider will check that the system:
- Fulfills cybersecurity standards for your industry
- Is flexible, scalable, and complex enough for your needs
- Meets data sovereignty regulations (e.g., there are laws regarding user data or intellectual property needing to be stored locally instead of via servers in any other country, even if the final destination is still domestic)
Type of Cloud Services Needed
Depending on the type of cloud services your business needs, your cost per month can greatly differ.
If your business only needs cloud storage for backup, you’re looking at an affordable monthly gigabyte rate. Doing so syncs your office to the cloud. Maybe you aren’t totally sure if you want to move everything to the cloud and want to ensure you’re backing up your data somewhere. You will still have the option to scale up your cloud storage and services in the future.
You will generally be billed per desktop per month if you want a fully hosted network and rent both the servers and infrastructure. As a moderately priced option and best suited for smaller and medium-sized businesses, you will not need to put down capital for buying servers and equipment, paying for equipment upkeep, or waiting for provisioning time. Reducing costs can provide an excellent return on investment for companies that don’t have an IT staff since the IT provider takes the management and operational load off their plates.
If you just want to rent a data center for your privately-owned servers and equipment (also known as colocation), you’re looking at a moderate to high cost. This option is best for medium to large-sized businesses that own servers and computing equipment and have an IT staff that can handle application management and upgrade/change. The setup and provision time tends to take weeks to months.
An IT provider can help you determine what type would be best for your business needs and budget.
Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid Cloud
The following cost factor that could affect your business cloud services cost is choosing between public, private, or hybrid clouds.
How are private clouds and public clouds different? The main differentiator is that a public cloud hosts your still private and protected data with other businesses’ data on shared infrastructure. On the other hand, a private cloud hosts your data on infrastructure exclusively for your company.
Both public and private cloud vendors are regularly examined and certified by a multitude of 3rd-party auditors. A common misconception is that public clouds have everybody’s data stored together. Data and users are still kept separate, and customers have complete control over who can access their cloud.
A private cloud is pricier but can be more cost advantageous for highly regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, research, financial, etc.) or businesses that need more flexibility or control. Many financial and healthcare institutions now have a history with cloud computing and have established data protection standards to follow.
However, private clouds require careful planning and budgeting to make sure hardware and data demand scale together. Otherwise, you might hit private cloud capacity at the worst time. You’ll also need an IT staff that can maintain uptime and security requirements. It’s also more challenging to deploy, requiring more time and resources.
A public cloud has lower costs, skipping maintenance costs and any growing pains and costs with limitless scalability and high protection against downtime. Public clouds allow for easy sharing of libraries and enterprise sharing restrictions, making communicating with your team, clients, or vendors convenient without accidentally violating security policies. Your IT administrator can enforce no restrictions, no public publishing, or strict sharing to external domains/certain internal members org-wide.
For example, your IT provider can set up Microsoft 365 cloud for your business, allowing your business to stream Windows 10 or Windows 11 and share files via a web browser. This public cloud will host Office 365 permissions, backup, and replication. Basically, a fancy way of saying the public cloud server will keep long-term data records and deliver uninterrupted business continuity after a disaster.
Want Microsoft 365 cloud for your business? Call us at (859) 788-4600, email us at info@46Solutions.com, or contact us for a free consultation.
Most businesses opt for hybrid cloud architecture, with over 97% of businesses worldwide adopting a hybrid strategy. A hybrid cloud strategy enables businesses to enjoy the strengths of both public and private clouds while being as cost effective as possible by only paying for the resources your business needs when it needs them.
Businesses can deliver non-regulated information coming en masse to a public cloud with a limitless storage ceiling and needs flexible scalability; meanwhile, businesses can store regulated information on a private cloud for extra security.
An IT provider can assist with creating the right infrastructure that suits the information you need extra computing power for or more control over.
Amount of Storage Required
Depending on the size of your business operations and the amount of data you need in the cloud, the amount of data storage needed can impact your cloud services cost.
For example, your company might incur hardware costs for in-house server upgrades or new machines (including warranties) to support cloud-based operations or additional storage costs.
Your hardware and storage costs will likely be low if you choose simple data backup or fully hosted networks alongside public or hybrid cloud architectures. The costs can increase if you choose colocation (also depends on whether you’re hosting one server or your company’s entire IT infrastructure in the data center) or solely private cloud architecture. Either scenario requires you to incur any hardware or deployment costs yourself.
Implementation, Monitoring, and Maintenance Costs
Most IT providers will charge an upfront implementation fee and then bundle monitoring and maintenance fees into your monthly rate, depending on if you choose a fully hosted network.
During the initial setup of your cloud services agreement for a data backup, fully hosted network, or colocation, implementation costs can include acquiring software licenses, hardware and network setup, data migration, compliance considerations, and company-wide training. Migrating data from one cloud vendor to another or on-premises software and data to the cloud can increase your implementation costs.
The number of users and/or systems your business has impacts the implementation costs related to licensing fees and the number of users who need access to cloud-based apps (e.g., email or document collaboration). For instance, Microsoft 365 requires a rate per user each month.
Hiring an IT provider can help your business overcome the technician and logistical challenges of adopting cloud-based systems. Small and medium-sized businesses have expertise on hand to set up, train their team, and operate applications in the cloud. Meanwhile, larger companies have experts to help them with data storage compliance (remember data sovereignty from the Benefits section?).
Monitoring and Maintenance Costs
After implementation is ongoing storage and maintenance, this monitoring for cybersecurity, downtime, and cost management is typically folded into your monthly rate for managed cloud services if you choose a fully hosted network.
Your IT provider will carefully manage, audit, and monitor your cloud infrastructure and applications to ensure your infrastructure is up-to-date, secure, and ready to recover data in case of an emergency. Outsourcing cloud management and monitoring allow for optimized operational costs, and, best of all, you won’t have to pay for training the IT team or labor costs.
Want Worry-Free Business Cloud Services? Contact 46Solutions.
As a Top 3 IT Firm in Lexington and Best of South Lexington business, 46Solutions has managed cloud services and developed continuity plans for hundreds of Kentucky companies. Our cloud services help businesses to internally and externally collaborate, protect data from loss or cyberattacks, and reduce or eliminate downtime due to malicious behavior or employee error so consumers can keep using your products and services.
We’ve helped highly-regulated businesses in the financial and healthcare sectors make technology decisions with a high return on investment. With our experience and resources, we understand your industry’s compliance and cybersecurity regulations and can build modern, tailored, and scalable solutions for your business. From GLBA, SOX, Dodd-Frank, PCI DSS, NCUA, FDIC, AML/KYC, NIST, ISO, ISACA to FFIEC, and many others, 46Solutions can provide you with peace of mind regarding your cloud data protection.
When you hire 46Solutions for business cloud services, we’ll help you select the best cloud storage system for your business, and then we’ll install and monitor it for you. Call us at (859) 788-4600, email us at info@46Solutions.com, or click our easy online form below for a free consultation.Book free consultation!